Bypassing GFI

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  #1  
Old 01-03-19, 09:19 AM
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Bypassing GFI

I had this discussed about a year ago..
Back to drawing board.
I have outside GFI that, in its wisdom, is breaker for 3 garage door openers and 2nd outside outlet.
As the result, when it trips, all garage openers go disabled, outside flood light same and, I have no light in chicken coop, that is fed with power via extension from that outlet.
About 1.5 month back, I put bubble cover over that GFI and it worked fine through quite a few rains and storms.
GFI IS EXPENSIVE WEATHER RESISTANT ONE. I did not go cheap on it.
Last night it started raining again, regular rain, and it tripped and stays tripped.
Bubble cover base is SEALED, I made sure it is.

At this point, I DO NOT CARE, what causes trip.
I care only about one thing - how to bypass it quick and dirty. I am tired of adding extension to openers at 6am to make doors go up.

Anyhow. How do I do this in manner a totally lay electric man can? Anything that is more complex than splicing wires together is beyond me. I am dumb electrically, I do not understand how all the complex wiring works, what is the difference between 2 black wires, and so on. Telling me that I need to splice together #62 and #67 tells me nothing.

I need simple, very simple instructions. Pull GFI out, place in bag, fill with silicone. Can do. Move to the inside of the garage wall, where it's dry. Can do. I can possibly even splice wires, that go to it, together, to basically bypass it completely, I don't care. But I need to know beyond any doubt, how to. Every time I was replacing that GFI, I had wires connected wrong, as - again - I do not get the wisdom of them.

I am NOT paying someone $120 an hr to come and do this.

Suggestions?
 
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Old 01-03-19, 09:24 AM
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You could try putting it inside but best is if this is an attached garage run a new circuit for just the GDOs.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 09:46 AM
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A couple of things standout as a possible problem. First, outside flood light and second, extension cord to coop. The cord most likely, have you disconnected the cord to the coop to see if the problem goes away? Extension cords are not totally waterproof, moisture can penetrate the jacket.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 10:06 AM
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Outlets outdoors, in garages, unfinished basements and other "wet" locations are required by code to be GFCI protected. So, simply replacing the GFCI with a standard receptacle, while really easy to do, is against code and could potentially lead to someone getting shocked.

Do you have reasonably easy access to your circuit panel and through attic & walls to run a new circuit for your garage door openers? How to do the wiring is pretty simple and something we can talk you through. The hard part is physically getting a wire from your breaker panel up to the openers.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 10:23 AM
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Garage door openers in the garage are required to GFCI. They are receptacles in the garage. All receptacles in the garage are required to be GFCI. The only solution might be a separate GFCI circuit for the openers then when the outdoor receptacle trips the openers will still work.

Best solution is to resolve the water intrusion problem. It sounds like a lot thing have been tried but obviously they are not working.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 10:51 AM
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Right now, it sounds like the one GFI is protecting all the downstream receptacles. This is usually done for ease and saving a few bucks. The incoming power goes into the GFI "Line" terminals. Then a second cable goes out to the other receptacles via the "LOAD" terminals. So if anything causes a fault, the whole circuit is tripped.

I would take your first receptacle and connect both sets of wires to the "LINE" terminals. This makes it so if that GFI trips, it only trips that single receptacle and none others.

Then follow-up and install individual GFI receptacles on all the other receptacles. It keeps each one protected as per code, but if one trips, it doesn't take out the rest of them.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 11:08 AM
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All this is great, but it's "hire electrician" suggestion. I need solution NOW. It will rain till mid May basically non stop.
There's likely water leak onto that GFI. As mentioned, I don't care what's the cause, I'll deal with it summer time.
I need functional GDOs and 2nd outlet NOW.
I, also, can't tell Line from Load. Sorry.
Does someone actually have a totally redneck idea how to seal that GFI? Extension is in bubble cover, no water on it. But before I had GFI bubble cover added, GFI WAS wet, even with flat white lid on it. I'm pretty sure it's direct water drip onto GFI. Whatever it is - summer! Not now.
Why it could have not been INSIDE GFI, beats me. No, it's not attached garage. it's ADU 1st floor. 3 garages. GFI is on the outside wall, inside - nice and cozy and dry.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 12:18 PM
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The idea to replace all your outlets on that circuit with GFCI is pretty quick and simple. That way when one GFCI trips all the others will remain working.

There are connections on the back of a GFCI that allow the option of simply passing power through/downstream without it being GFCI protected or provide GFCI protection downstream. In either case the GFCI outlet is GFCI protected.



You would turn off the circuit breaker. Then open up the first outlet of the circuit. The wires coming in from the breaker panel will connect to the bottom set of screws labeled "line". The wires out to your downstream outlets would also connect to the "line" screws. Connect the black wires to the hot/black side that has a brass colored screw. The white wires connect to the neutral/white side that has a silver colored screw. Then connect the bare copper wires to the green ground screw. In your situation you would not use the "load" screws which are usually covered with a piece of yellow tape.

----
If you are having trouble I still like a separate circuit for the garage door openers. That way when your troublesome outdoor GFCI's trip you can still get in the garage. It also allows you to a GFCI circuit breaker or install the garage door opener's GFCI down lower in a convenient location.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 12:52 PM
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Let me demonstrate how electrically dumb I am

Then open up the first outlet of the circuit.

Which one is the first outlet in the circuit? GFI I am referring to is mounted on the outside garage wall. The only other outlet on the circuit is across the entire building, on the far opposite wall.


The wires coming in from the breaker panel will connect to the bottom set of screws labeled "line".

Left or Right in the diagram?

The wires out to your downstream outlets would also connect to the "line" screws.

Again, Left or Right on the diagram? there are TWO line and Load screws?




Connect the black wires to the hot/black side that has a brass colored screw.

Which black wires?




The white wires connect to the neutral/white side that has a silver colored screw.
Is there several of them? White wires?

Then connect the bare copper wires to the green ground screw.

I kid you not, this is how low my understanding of all this is.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 02:01 PM
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The below steps describe how to disable a safety feature by removing GFCI protection from your circuit. Check with local codes and verify that the problem isn't simply a bad GFCI or malfunctioning appliance before considering following these steps.



Turn the power off, and remove the GFCI. You should see Black and White wires connected to the "LINE" Terminals, and another pair Connected to the "LOAD" Terminals. Devices with motors can trip GFCI outlets due to inductive loads at start up or shutdown.

Get yourself some spare wire. If you don't have any, buy a foot of 14/2 household wire from the local Orange or Blue Big Box Store. Also pick up some wire nuts rated for 3 14 ga wires.

You'll need to cut 4-6 inch white and black "jumper" wires and strip the ends.

Disconnect all wires from the GFCI, and screw in the LOAD screws all the way. I like to tape them off with electrical tape.

Attach one end to the LINE Terminals, matching white to white and black to black. (Brass screw is black, Metal screw is white. Green screw is ground (green or bare).

Now wire the three white wires together with a wire nut. Similarly, wire the blacks. These are called Pigtails.

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Wire the two remaining ground wires to the ground (green) screw on the GFCI.

Stuff the wires in and re-mount the outlet.

You've just unprotected the fridge and freezer. However, I'd put a label on the unprotected box "NOT GFCI" so that a future owner doesn't make any assumptions.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 02:01 PM
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It may seem daunting but it will be a bit more understandable when you have your outlet opened up and can see things in person.
----

It's a good bet that your GFCI outlet is the first one. It is being used to provide GFCI protection to everything downstream. The good news is that by installing a GFCI on every outlet "the first" really isn't important as they will all get GFCI outlets.

Your GFCI breaker will have what goes where labeled (molded into the plastic) on the back. Also, can go by the screw colors.

There is one line and one load screw for both hot and neutral, four screws total. You will only used the ones labeled "line". Also, most GFCI when new have the "load" screws taped over with yellow tape only leaving the two "line" screws visible.

When you open up/remove your existing GFCI outlet (after turning off the circuit breaker) you should see two cables. Each cable will have a black, white and bare copper ground giving you a total of six wires. The two black wires get connected to the brass colored hot line screw. The two white wires connect to the silver colored neutral line screw. The two bare copper wires connect to the one green ground screw.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 02:04 PM
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So if I understood this correctly, all black wires connect to the black LINE terminal. 6 inch WHITE pigtail connects to the WHITE LINE end and then the other 2 WHITE wires are connected to it with wire nut?
 
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Old 01-03-19, 02:12 PM
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Thank you. I think, I got it. basically, we are bypassing the entire GFCI and using it as "bridge" between panel and GDOs. Black wires got to "black" line terminal, white wires go to "white" line terminal, ground copper ones go to ground terminal.
I'll also pull extension and wall light plugs out tonight, to see if one of them is causing this. I am rather suspicious that it could be the chicken coop extension one as it is - well, maybe 200ft long, combined out of 3 long HD extension cords. That's how we bought the property. Any one of those junctions may cause this as, though they have those sealing covers, chance is high they may get moisture inside. They are rather dated and some buried in the ground.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 05:25 PM
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I am rather suspicious that it could be the chicken coop extension one as it is - well, maybe 200ft long, combined out of 3 long HD extension cords.
I can pretty much guarantee that this is your issue causing the ground fault.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 05:34 PM
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A buried extension cord leaking to.ground is a serious shock hazard. Removing the gfi protection is irresponsible and potentially deadly.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 07:13 PM
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And so it is. GFI is back to work. It's extension. I'll dig it out Saturday and re route to the power supply in chicken run. The way it is, previous owner had small coop with run and ran that extension all the way from the house to it. I'd say 150-200ft. Then I added panel in the shed next to it and some lights in coop that we brought. I'll re route that supply to one we added.

Thank you all.
 
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